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Friday, December 7, 2012

UC Berkeley Might Ban Salvation Army Bell Ringers for Holidays, Claiming the Organization Is Anti-Gay

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Berkeley's gays think they're grinches
  • Berkeley's gays think they're grinches

The ubiquitous Salvation Army bell ringers who collect donations for charity every Christmas might be booted from the liberal bastion of UC Berkeley, where the student body has accused the Christian group of holding homophobic policies.

Last month, the student government passed a resolution saying the bell ringers and their red kettles are persona non grata on campus, claiming the charity organization only serves people who "accept and abide by the Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline,' which excludes homosexuality," according to the resolution.

The Campus Reform blog explains that Berkeley officials are now seriously reviewing whether to grant the student government its request and ban the bell ringers this holiday season.

But they don't just want to leave them out in the cold for Christmas. Part of the student resolution included asking the university to revoke the Salvation Army's permits so the group will no longer be allowed to collect donations -- at any time -- on the Berkeley campus. That means no more donation containers on campus, because the sight of them could offend LGBT students.

Per the resolution:

Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people.

In a statement to Campus Reform, the Salvation Army vehemently denies that it is anti-gay, and claims the allegations are based solely on "internet rumors."

"The notion that we require those we help to 'accept and abide by the Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline which excludes homosexuality' to receive assistance is totally false," wrote Kathy Lovin, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army. "The only requirement for service from The Salvation Army is demonstrated need and our ability to meet it."

The resolution was spearheaded by openly gay student, Matthew Enger, who has also gone after the Boy Scouts of America on his Twitter account, telling that organization to "go fuck themselves" for refusing to admit homosexuals into their organization.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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